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December 14, 2012

News

Many training aids available to support units

Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations (TADSS) to support military and other authorized customers of the Fort McCoy Training Support Branch are available for use on and off post.

Rob Weisbrod, Training Support Officer for the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS), said the installation’s Training Support Branch has nearly 700 items that can be checked out for use during battle assembly or extended combat training at the installation or for use at home stations in a six-state area. Fort McCoy’s area of responsibility, governed by Army Regulation 5-9, covers the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota and half of Illinois.
PHOTO: Chuck Beranek of the Training Aids warehouse section examines equipment available for troop checkout. Photo by Rob Schuette
Chuck Beranek of the Training Aids warehouse section examines equipment available for troop checkout. The Fort McCoy Training Support Branch has nearly 700 items units can check out to aid their training efforts on and off the installation.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

Items available range from multiple integrated laser engagement systems (MILES) to medical mannequins to various Department of the Army (DA) Graphic Training Aids (GTAs).

“If units train here or are in our area of responsibility, they can set up an account to check out the items when they’re at the installation or for an extended-use period off post,” Weisbrod said.

The system saves the Army considerable costs by not buying individual equipment for each unit when having an ample supply available for check out, when needed, will suffice and be more efficient and economical from a cost, storage and inventory standpoint, he said.

Units need two pieces of documentation to check out the training aids. The first is an assumption of command letter and the second is DA Form 1687, the delegation of authority. Weisbrod said account requests can be made in person or via e-mail, fax or by regular mail. Items can be picked up at McCoy or sometimes other options, including shipment to home stations, can be arranged.

Requests for equipment should be made as soon as possible, Weisbrod said. Some items are very popular and will be checked out quickly, such as MILES equipment to support the 86th and 78th Training Division Warrior Exercises or Combat Support Training Exercises.

John Kumpf, DPTMS Supply Management Specialist Supervisor, said TADSS available for checkout are listed in DA Pamphlet 350-9. It’s important to make requests at least 90 days in advance, if possible.

“If we don’t have an item available, we have other avenues we can access to obtain it,” Kumpf said. “We can go to the Army Training Support Center (ATSC) at Fort Eustis, Va., and request a temporary loan of items. The ATSC will go to their member installations to see if it’s available.”

In certain instances, if equipment isn’t available through the system, a purchase may be made through a private vendor, he said. Fort McCoy also incorporates best practices from other installations they visit or serve and share their best practices with other installations, as well.

Weisbrod said organizations in the installation community also have helped provide training aids.

The Regional Training Center (RTC)-Central organization, for example, was inactivated when its premobilization mission ended.

RTC-Central’s combatives equipment then became part of the TADSS inventory allowing it to be checked out by units. Cultural role player clothing also was transferred.

Other high-demand materials include dry-erase boards and easels to use for diagramming training or other necessary information for troops in the field, he said.

In the future, Kumpf said the organization plans to have all the items it has available assembled into a catalog-type display that unit representatives can look through to help determine what they need to support their training.

Training Support Branch personnel also provide extensive customer service to support the use of its items, Kumpf said. Organizations using MILES can complete certification training via a PowerPoint presentation or by a class available at the installation, both at no cost to the organization.

The Training Support Branch also has a wide variety of podiums, cameras, DVD and VHS players that can be checked out by units to support training documentation or to be used to support after-action reports, he said.

Kumpf and Weisbrod said Training Support Branch personnel also conduct off-post visits to organizations in its AR 5-9 area. This allows them to service any organization’s needs at home station, offer familiarization training, update TADSS accounts, and market Fort McCoy training capabilities.

The Fort McCoy Training Support Branch is open weekdays from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. throughout the year. Weekend hours are maintained from Memorial Day to Labor Day and upon request with advance notice.

For more information, call 608-388-2752.

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